Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FCC Blocks LightSquared

The February 15, 2012 Washington Post reports that the FCC has decided that LightSquared's transmitters would be a problem:

NEW YORK — Federal officials plan to kill a private company’s plans to start a national high-speed wireless broadband network after concluding it would in some cases jam personal-navigation and other GPS devices.
The Federal Communications Commission said it will seek public comment as early as Wednesday on revoking LightSquared’s permit after a federal agency that coordinates wireless signals, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, concluded that there’s no way to mitigate potential interference.
And for those who want to believe that the stories about influence peddling and the Obama Administration are just right-wing lies, take a look at this item from the Labour Party paper, The Guardian in Britain:
For LightSquared the critical issue was receiving regulatory approval for its plans for spectrum use, rather than financial support. And for that the company made frequent approaches to the White House, according to emails obtained by the Center for Public Integrity under freedom of information legislation.
Emails published by the body's iWatch News show LightSquared mentioning fundraising efforts by its executives in contacts with the White House.
According to iWatch News, LightSquared staff appealed to the White House for meetings with top technology aides after the company's chief executive, Sanjiv Ahuja, made a $30,400 contribution to the Democratic party:
"Hi Aneesh!" LightSquared representative Dave Kumar wrote to Aneesh Chopra, the president's chief technology adviser on Sept. 23, 2010. "I touched base with my client Sanjiv Ahuja and he expressed an interest in meeting with you … He is going to be in DC next week for a fundraising dinner with the President."
LightSquared's major backer is Philip Falcone, a high-level Democratic party donor and owner of Harbinger Capital, the venture fund with a $3bn majority stake in LightSquared.
Clear enough?  The Obama Administration pressured General Shelton to change his testimony concerning interference.  See this September 16, 2011 Daily Telegraph story:
According to Republicans on Capitol Hill, General William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, told them in a closed session the White House urged him to alter his testimony about the Pentagon's concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company. 

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